Pagan Culture - Solitary Spirituality

Witches with Weapons

Witches with Weapons:
The Case for Firearms in Pagan Spirituality
by Wintersong Tashlin and Galina Krasskova

Guns and Pagans. The two words just don’t seem to go very well together. One just doesn’t expect to hear of the local Wiccan priestess and her Remington rifle or the friendly New Age guy and his 9mm. Coming of age as they did in the 1960s, American Wicca, Goddess spirituality, and the many varieties of Neo-Paganism influenced by their development often advocate principles of non-violence that seem to exclude weapons-craft, particularly gun-craft. For many in our communities, the idea of incorporating weapons into one’s spiritual practice is anathema. Some grudgingly permit an athame, or even a sword (especially in ceremonial magic), but the aesthetic and esoteric line is usually drawn there. But a growing number of Pagans are coming to integrate the active use of firearms into their spiritual practice. For some, learning to use a modern weapon is a means of connecting to and honoring their ancestors while for others, it is a commonsense skill in an uncertain and often violent world — one in which Pagans remain a religious minority. Whether you love them or hate them, firearms are a significant part of the world in which we live, and feelings run hot on their significance for Pagan living.

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Keep Yourself Safe, Sane & Centered

fresh brew

artwork by Holly Golightly for newWitch

Keep Yourself Safe, Sane & Centered
Six Steps to Magical Hygiene
by Tess Whitehurst

As magical practitioners, we walk between the worlds of form and spirit. We open ourselves up to the subtle realms, and become aware of the play of energy on a deep level. We consciously choose to create positive change in the world and in our lives, and to release negativity and that which doesn’t serve us. For these reasons, it’s important for us to regularly engage in proper magical hygiene. A daily magical hygiene practice allows us to walk between the worlds safely, effectively, and happily while becoming more and more in possession of the fullness of our magical power. It cleanses us of psychic debris and energetic blocks, allowing us to be clear channels of magical information and power.

I’ve outlined some effective magical hygiene practices that can be incorporated into your daily meditation. I often work with Archangel Michael to help with magical hygiene, and include him in the descriptions of several practices below, but feel free to work with the Goddess, God, and/or any other appropriate being(s) of your choice.

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One Witch’s Way

One Witch’s Way
Bronwynn Forest Torgerson
Llewellyn Publications, 2008

“Not just another worn-out Sabbat book,” begins the press release for long-time Craft practitioner Bronwynn Forest Torgerson’s debut book, One Witch’s Way. A solitary Witch with decades of Craft experience, active in her local Interfaith and CUUPS chapters, Torgerson brings her considerable knowledge and intuition to bear in a unique and lively “magickal memoir.”

Unlike typical Sabbat-spell books, Torgerson doesn’t put forth any doctrine regarding the Wheel of the Year or its vast wealth of lore and magick. She doesn’t focus on the Eight Great Sabbats or go deeply into magickal theory. What she does is assign a magickal theme to all twelve months of the Year, and from there lay out a wealth of memoirs, stories, rituals, charms, and thought-provoking questions.

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Grounding and Centering

Grounding and Centering

Root yourself in the Earth.

Have you noticed that Pagans and magicians use the word “grounding” to mean two entirely different activities? Sometimes “grounding” is the word we use to mean “releasing excess energy.” We do this at the end of a working to help us return to ordinary consciousness (the term “unwinding” means something very similar). It’s also a good idea to clear our minds before beginning a working, just as you would physically clear your secular work space before starting a project. At other times, we use “grounding” to mean latching on, tapping into the Source of the energy, empowering ourselves like plugging in an appliance before using it. I’d like to focus on this second sort of grounding right now.

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Home is Where the Magic Is

columns_wp-24_01-0110 Strategies for Weaving Magic into Your Home

We can do spells and rituals all day long, but if the place where we live doesn’t feel right, we don’t feel right. And if we don’t feel right, our power is depleted and every aspect of our magical practice suffers.

Not only that, but — true to the ubiquitous hermetic precept, “as above so below” — our homes are physical reflections of the energy that shapes and underlies our life conditions. As such, we can work within this physical grid we call home to magically affect positive change in every aspect of our lives.

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Create Your Own Magical Jewelry!

The power behind magical jewelry springs from three primary sources: the spell (infused into the piece by its creator), the symbolism (for example, the choice of colors or the use of sentimental items), and the innate properties of the materials used.

But the most potent power of magical jewelry lies in its ability to act as a tangible symbol, a magical sigil reminding the wearer of its magical goal. As the intent (both of the maker and the wearer) counts most, magical jewelry can be made out of most anything as long as the intent is there. Still, it is fun to draw inspiration from age-old traditions when creating your own personal spell. For that reason, start by doing a bit of research: grab your favorite magical encyclopedia and read through the tables of correspondence; check out all the elements of your potential creation, from the type of jewelry itself to the materials out of which you will construct it. What you are looking for isn’t just the one-and-only abracadabra material, but for what resonates with you (or, if you are creating a gift, with the intended recipient).

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